CREEL

Canna can!

The Isle of Canna is one of the Small Isles, located off the West Coast to the south of Skye, with a population of under 20. It has no connection to the National Grid, so had previously relied on expensive diesel generators.  

The Canna Renewable Energy and Electrification project involved the construction of a new system based around wind, solar and battery storage which has drastically reduced fuel usage and running costs. Community Energy Scotland had been assisting the community with the development of this project since 2009, and we were commissioned by CREEL to take on the project management of the due diligence and construction phases. We helped secure the final grants for the build, negotiated the contracts and lease, and worked with the contractors to ensure this complex system was installed successfully before the winter storms.  

During the first year of operation, the new system generated over 138MWh of electricity, of which 93% was renewable. This resulted in a 94% reduction in diesel usage, saving 100.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The generators ran for under 2% of the time (operating less than 3 times per month on average), compared to running 24/7 previously. The success of the project was recognised by the judges at the 2019 Scottish Green Energy Awards, where CREEL took home the 2019 Best Community Project award.  We are thrilled that the SGEA judges recognised the persistence of the community in taking forward such a complex and ambitious project in a very remote location. 

The community secured £983,005 from the Big Lottery Fund and £150,000 from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), delivered by Local Energy Scotland. An additional £100,000 was awarded from the SSE Highland Sustainable Development Fund, and £50,000 each from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the National Trust for Scotland. 

“The island is exposed to the full force of Atlantic gales and we can finally start to put that to good use! As well as reducing the noise and pollution from the generators the new scheme will give us the capacity to build additional houses here, so that we can increase the number of people who can make their home on this beautiful island” 

Geraldine MacKinnon, CREEL director

We are extremely grateful to our funders: The Big Lottery Fund and their Growing Community Assets Programme; Local Energy Scotland and the Scottish Government for their CARES and Innovation and Infrastructure Fund programmes; SSE and their Highland Sustainable Development Fund; to Highlands and Islands Enterprise; and to the National Trust for Scotland, both for their financial contribution and for the lease of the network which has allowed the project to go ahead. 

Thanks should also go to the principal contractor SSE Contracting, and to their subcontractors; CHAP Ltd (civils); Wind & Sun Ltd (PV and battery/inverter systems); and SD Wind Ltd (turbine supply and installation). 

The people of Canna would also like to thank Community Energy Scotland and Jamie Adam in particular, for project managing this scheme; Jamie kept us on track though all of the complexities involved. 

OHLEH

Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub: Sustainable and competitive options to increase resilience of remote businesses.

The project is taking place on the Isle of Lewis across two sites – a waste management facility and a fish hatchery – demonstrating a circular energy economy that will have relevance and learning for other projects. 

Waste Management Facility

The Creed Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF), located just outside Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, is owned and operated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES), the Local Authority for the Western Isles. Current features of the site include an anaerobic digester (AD), combined heat and power plant (CHP), electric boiler and thermal store, a wind turbine and a hydrogen system comprising electrolyser, storage and refuelling station.

Fish Hatchery

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) owns and operates four hatcheries, 12 marine fish farms and one processing facility on the Island of Lewis and Harris.  The salmon hatchery at Barvas, Isle of Lewis, will be the main focus of this project, although fish waste from all SSC sites in Lewis and Harris will be able to be deposited at the Creed IWMF.

© Google Maps

OHLEH intends to integrate fish waste along with household and garden waste anaerobic digestion at Creed IWMF. In managing fish waste in this way rather than sending it all to landfill, OHLEH will have a positive impact both environmentally and economically.

Biogas produced from the waste in the AD is used to fuel the existing on-site CHP.  Some of the electricity generated by the CHP is sent to a hydrogen system to produce hydrogen and oxygen.  The system will also make use of some of the electricity from the wind turbine on site, which is often subject to curtailment due to grid constraints.  In this way, OHLEH maximises the use of existing assets.

Both hydrogen and oxygen are captured, compressed and delivered to the hatchery for local use. Oxygenation is essential to aquaculture, and hydrogen will be used in a small fuel cell which will provide electricity to the site. Energy and oxygen can both be seen as critical supplies. OHLEH opens a route for sustainable and competitive options to increase resilience of remote businesses.

The hydrogen system at Creed includes a refuelling station, and some of the hydrogen will be used to refill a dual-fuel Refuse Collection Vehicle (RCV) operating on hydrogen/diesel.  The RCV will be used to collect local waste, part of which ends in the biogas production system.

Most of the equipment for this project is already installed; essentially OHLEH looks at how to link the existing assets together, leading to the creation of a circular and innovative local energy economy.

Technical Information

Wind turbine300kW
Grid connection limited to 225kW
Anaerobic digesterCapacity: 960m3
Production: Between 60m3 and 80m3 per day (as a general average)
Expected biogas yield 448,412m3/year (mix fish/domestic waste)
CHP240kW electrical and 370kW heat output
Minimum combusting 80Nm3/h of biogas
(c. 48Nm3 of Methane)
Annual operating hours expected to reach 4990h
Hydrogen systemAlkaline electrolyser, 30kW – 5.3Nm3/h – 0.45kg/h
350bar compression, storage and refuelling equipment
Refuse Collection Vehicle5kg of Hydrogen
Stored at 350bar
Fuel cell5kW

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